Using Business Simulations to Assist Undergraduate Students from Non-English Speaking Backgrounds with Employability Skills Development: A Meaningful Learning Approach

By Christine Armatas and Andrew Vincent.

Published by The International Journal of Learning in Higher Education

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In this paper we present a pilot project using a business simulation to assist students from non-English speaking backgrounds to develop and practice employability skills. A meaningful learning paradigm adapted for use by learners with technology (Jonassen, 1995) was used to inform the learning activities associated with the business simulation to assist students in developing important skills, such as critical thinking, communication and teamwork. The total enterprise simulation modelled learning in the workplace, while at the same time providing a safe but challenging environment for students to develop confidence and competence. As the evaluation of the pilot shows, the opportunities that such simulations can afford students are significant and business simulations can be tailored to meet the needs of specific student cohorts when structured and aligned with the meaningful learning paradigm.

Keywords: Business Simulation, Meaningful Learning, Scaffolding

The International Journal of Learning in Higher Education, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp.143-155. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 363.144KB).

Dr Christine Armatas

Senior Educational Developer, Educational Development Unit, Faculty of Business and Law, Victoria University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Dr. Armatas has a PhD from the University of Melbourne and is a registered psychologist with expertise in curriculum design and evaluation. She is currently working in the Faculty of Business and Law at Victoria University on a range of projects associated with strategies for engaging industry in curriculum design and delivery and the appropriate use of technology to enhance students’ learning outcomes.

Andrew Vincent

Lecturer, Centre for Work Integrated Learning and Teaching, Faculty of Business and Law, Victoria University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

I am currently completing a PhD in the School of Management and Information Systems at Victoria University investigating criminal sentencing, decision making and decision support. I am interested in the nexus between decision making, intuition and expertise. Presently, I am engaged as Educational Developer in the Faculty of Business and Law also at Victoria University. I was previously a Research Fellow in the School of Accounting and Business Information System at the University of Melbourne.